What exactly is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the process of optimizing a website’s technical setup, content relevancy, and link popularity so that its pages are easier to locate, more relevant, and more popular to user search queries, and, as a result, search engines rank them higher.

By presenting material that meets user search demands, search engines advocate SEO activities that help both the user search experience and the page’s rating. This involves, among other things, using relevant keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and headings (H1), using descriptive URLs with keywords rather than strings of numbers, and using schema markup to identify the page’s content meaning.

People use search engines to find what they’re searching for on the internet. Search engines are a frequent starting place when you need information, whether you’re studying a product, looking for a restaurant, or planning a trip. They provide a fantastic chance for company owners to send relevant traffic to your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the activity of directing your website to appear higher on a search engine results page (SERP), resulting in more visitors. Typically, the goal is to rank on the top page of Google results for search phrases that are important to your target audience. As a result, SEO is as much about knowing your audience’s desires and requirements as it is about the technical aspects of how to setup your website.

Here are the fundamentals.

How do search engines function?

Search engines provide results for any search term entered by the user. To do this, they examine and “understand” the massive network of websites that comprise the internet. They use a complex algorithm to choose which search results to show for each search query.

Why is SEO centered on Google?

Many people associate the word “search engine” with Google, which controls over 92% of the worldwide search engine market. Because Google is the most popular search engine, SEO is usually centered on what works best for Google. It’s beneficial to have a thorough grasp of how and why Google operates.

What Google desires

Google is meant to provide its users, or searchers, with the greatest search experience possible. This entails delivering the most relevant results as soon as feasible.

The search phrase (the user input) and the search results (the output) are the two key components of the search experience.

Assume you search for “Mailchimp guides and tutorials.” This is a straightforward, unambiguous search. Google recognizes your query and returns a relevant page as the top organic result—Mailchimp’s own page with that title.

According to Google, this is a very excellent search result and a pleasant user experience since the user is likely to click the top result and be pleased with the outcome.

How does Google earn money?

Google earns people’s trust and appreciation for its search service. It does this by providing relevant search results.

Google also allows companies to pay for an advertorial placement at the top of search result pages. The term “Ad” denotes these listings. Google earns money when users click on pay-per-click (PPC) adverts purchased via AdWords. These adverts will appear on more general inquiries in particular.

Apart from the little label, these search results seem virtually identical to other search results. Of course, this is done on purpose, since many consumers click on these results without understanding their adverts.

This is what Google is banking on. Advertising sales accounted for more than 80% of Google’s $182.5 billion in revenue in 2020. As a result, although search functions remain its key commodity, the company relies on its advertising business.

The structure of search results

SERPs are made up of sponsored and “organic” search results, with organic results not contributing to Google’s income. Google instead provides organic results based on its evaluation of a site’s relevancy and quality. Google will add various features on the SERP depending on the kind of search query, such as maps, photos, or videos.

The number of advertisements on a SERP is determined by what people have looked for. If you search for “shoes,” for example, you’ll likely discover that many of the top results are advertisements. In reality, the first organic result will most likely require you to browse down the page.

A question like this often produces a large number of advertisements since the searcher is likely to want to purchase shoes online, and there are several shoe firms prepared to pay for a feature in the AdWords results for this query.

On the other hand, if you search for “Atlanta Falcons,” you will get different results. Because the top results are largely related to the professional American football team of the same name, they are. But it’s still a vague question. There are news articles, a knowledge graph, and a link to their webpage. These three types of results at the top suggest that Google doesn’t know what you’re looking for, but it gives simple paths to learn about the team, read their newest news, or visit their website.

Advertisers are unwilling to bid for the term since there seems to be no purchase intent behind the inquiry, hence there are no AdWords results.

If you adjust the query to “Atlanta Falcons hat,” which indicates to Google that you may be shopping, the SERP results shift to include more sponsored results.

The function of SEO

SEO’s purpose is to improve your ranking in organic search results. There are several techniques for improving AdWords, shopping, and local results.

While it may seem that there are too many competing aspects taking up real estate on SERPs, SEO may still be a highly strong and profitable activity.

Given that Google handles billions of search queries every day, organic search results constitute a sizable portion of a much larger pie. While some initial and continuing expenditure is necessary to achieve and maintain organic rankings, every click that directs visitors to your website is entirely free.